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Ex-Hole Guitarist Eric Erlandson Talks ‘Letters To Kurt’ Cobain

Eric Erlandson
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Nearly 20 years after his death, you’d think it would be safe to bet that every possible Kurt Cobain-inspired book, album, television show, and film had already been released. But you’d lose that bet thanks to Hole’s Eric Erlandson, who’s just released a new book of “prose poems” inspired by, and dedicated to, the deceased Nirvana frontman.

“I found Kurt to be the perfect muse,” Erlandson reflected during a recent interview. “He was someone who I knew briefly, yet loved and admired immensely, a friend who I wanted so badly to help, yet in the end failed to understand.”

Saying he was inspired by the Jim Harrison book ‘Letters to Yesenin,’ Erlandson admitted he resisted the idea of writing ‘Letters to Kurt,’ but “apparently it wanted to be written so I gave in.” Those seeking a tell-all memoir are cautioned to look elsewhere, however; as he put it in the interview, “It’s a treasure trove of detail, but very few people will know what I’m actually talking about or where it’s coming from. It doesn’t matter, though. The ride can be enjoyed by all who want to come along. The real message of the book is between the lines.”

Although Erlandson co-founded Hole with Cobain’s wife Courtney Love, he stressed that he and Cobain weren’t close friends. “I don’t think close was possible, given the timing and the circumstances,” he explained. “But over the few short years I got to know him I began to feel like a protective older brother to his troubled genius. I hoped to serve as a beacon of light and hope during those tumultuous and drug-addled times. To embody a survivalist path, versus the unfortunate and common one of self-destruction. But as we all know from how things turned out, my light at the time was not as powerful as his dark.”

‘Letters to Kurt’ is out today (March 27) at major retailers.

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